26th May 2021 – Wisdom Wednesday

‘In Mary, the Holy Spirit manifests the Son of the Father.’
CCC #724

Does the way in which you live reflect Jesus to the world? The following lines of St. Patrick’s Breastplate – where St. Patrick prays that everyone he encounters will first and foremost encounter Christ – speak very deeply into this:

‘Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.’

Every minutiae of our lives are intended to manifest Christ to the world. This is the great upward call of holiness.

Of course, Mary, through the power of the Holy Spirit, manifested Jesus in a unique way. He becomes incarnate in her womb, receiving his human nature from her, yet remaining fully divine. In other words, Jesus – fully man, fully God- becomes tangible and visible through her. It’s like this line from the Chronicles of Narnia: ‘“I have come,” said a deep voice behind them. They turned and saw the Lion himself, so bright and real and strong that everything else began at once to look pale and shadowy compared with him” (C.S Lewis, ‘The Silver Chair’).

St. John was to refer to this tangibility in his first Letter decades later: ‘That which was from the beginning, which we have HEARD, which we have SEEN with our eyes, which we have looked up and TOUCHED with our hands…the life was made manifest, and we saw it and testify to it…the eternal life which was with the Father…(1 Jn:1-2, emphasis added). Jesus can now be seen and perceived in human form.

The Catechism contains a beautiful line about this, describing Mary as the ‘burning bush of the definitive theophany’ (CCC #724). A theophany is when God reveals Himself in a remarkable or tangible way, like He did to Moses in the Old Testament: ‘…the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed’ (Ex 3:2).

We can only imagine what it must have been like for Mary to be this ‘burning bush’ of God’s definitive presence – ‘the Father’s one, perfect and unsurpassable Word’ (CCC #65)!

Truth is, no one will ever manifest Jesus in a more unique way than Mary. Yet, every time we receive Jesus in Holy Communion, we too receive His very life! Then, through our cooperation with the grace and power of the Holy Spirit, we too can manifest Him to the world, no matter what dark recesses exist in our lives. An ocean of grace is on offer to all who seek it: ‘where sin increased, grace abounded all the more’ (Rom 5:20).


Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with you
Blessed art thou among women
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our
death amen.
All you Saints of Ireland, pray for us!